What's happening with Sunland Park Mall?

Sunland Park Mall

This question came from a KFOX14 viewer named Rafael: "Any news on replacement tenants for all the recently closed stores on Sunland Park Drive?"

A number of stores have closed in recent months, both at Sunland Park Mall and the surrounding shopping centers.

It started with the Macy's department store closing at the mall last year. Then Kmart closed across the street. Soon Toys R Us will also close, after the company sells off its remaining merchandise as part of a nationwide going out of business sale.

In addition, a number of smaller stores and restaurants have closed in the Sunland Park Mall area.

This is part of a national trend that's plaguing the traditional retail market as people buy more of their products and services online.

Some experts predict one-quarter of all American malls will close within the next five years.

Compounding problems for Sunland Park Mall is all the road construction that's now snarling traffic in the area, as part of the Go10 project, which isn't scheduled to be completed until next year.

The city of El Paso is concerned enough that it recently announced a partnership with Sunland Park Mall to explore new economic development opportunities in the area and perhaps make changes to the traditional mall experience in an attempt to attract new customers.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Starr Western Wear plans to open a new store where Macy's used to be at the mall. That should happen by September.

In addition, once all the road work is completed in the area, new retailers will likely emerge who want to set up shop in this high-traffic area.

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